nice, being UK accouding to section T we all have to have shoulder straps, I felt as if I was falling out with just a lap strap, just wondering if the vertical bars are strong enough not to bend should an impact occour. Either way you will feel more like you are "strapping the gyro on your back" and feel part of the machine. I woulkd love to have a 2 seat dom, CLT, tall tail etc
This is one thing that I won't put on a gyro, I don't want to be held by the shoulders to a mast that is attached to a rotating blade that hits anything solid,I rolled a machine over many years ago never got a scratch but I'm quite sure that if I had been wearing a shoulder harness I would have had neck damage.
It may not be as bad on a heavier two place machine but on a light single place gyro there can be violent movement of the mast.
Looks good Scott. I really like your mounts. You will feel much more secure with the shoulder harness. I use the Hooker Harness also and I promise there is nothing like the feel of a Hooker on your lap !
These are some general thoughts on restraint systems and have little to do with anything about this particular installation.
This appears to be a very nice installation. I can’t tell from the pictures if this installation conforms to the simple ideas below.
Seat belts get old and age faster in the sun. Follow the manufactures recommendation for replacement.
Most belt mounts I have seen have a little spacer that allow the bracket that the seat belt is attached to pivot. If they can’t pivot a strong impact will cut through the seat belt. Part of my preflight is to make certain all the pivots are pivoting. I have found them stuck more than once.
I have seen seat belt mounts tear out of the frame. I feel it is important to have a mount that won’t break with 6,000 pounds pulling on it. Stronger is better. I have read a sustained 30 g event is survivable and much higher if it is momentary. We have calculated that I exceeded 50gs crashing the Harley Davidson at Bonneville.
I think about what direction I am trying to restrain the person from going. I am not trying to hold the person down in the seat from negative gs. I feel straight down won’t work very well. A gyroplane impact can be in any direction. If the seat is strong enough it is part of the restraint system. If the lap belt holds me back and down into the seat (assuming the seat is attached well and the back rest is strong) the seat back will hold me from going back and the bottom will hold me from going down. I am mainly concerned with holding me back and down into the seat during an accident sequence so the lower lap belt attachments should pull me back and down into the seat. I feel the lap belt mounts should be about the same width as the seat and the belts should be at about a forty five degree angle when fastened.
I have heard the arguments against a shoulder harness and I still prefer them.
In my opinion shoulder belts are about holding my upper body back into the seat.
My friend was killed in his Luscombe doing low level aerobatics in a fairly minor impact because he didn’t have a shoulder harness and his head hit the panel hard enough to kill him. It doesn’t take much. In my opinion if he had a shoulder harness he would still be with us. No broken bones or blunt force trauma that I am aware of.
A forward impact is often a part of a gyroplane accident sequence and I feel it is important to make certain that the shoulder harness pulls back rather than down. If the shoulder harness is mounted below my shoulders it can break my back in a forward impact. I have both the shoulder harnesses mounted slightly above the shoulders and behind in The Predator. They are higher in the back seat for tall passengers.
I feel it is important to know how to release the belts quickly in an emergency. Part of my preflight talk with a passenger is to explain how to operate the seat belts and how to adjust them correctly.
I check that the passenger’s seat belt is fastened and their helmet is fastened properly as part of my pre-takeoff check list. Some seat belts can get hung up in the little notch if you pull on them. I feel it is important to practice a quick clean release.
I am getting The Predator ready for the Cable Air show so I am off to the hangar. I will be leaving for Upland Thursday morning weather permitting.
I should make it clear that my thoughts against shoulder harness is my opinion on light single place machines with the harness attached to the mast, I would not fly a back helicopter for the same reason.
I use shoulder harness in my fixed wing machines and I don't mind them in helicopters where the rotor can rip the transmission away from the frame and I will be still ok, I have been told that I'm crazy to use shoulder harness in a float plane but I would rather have to use a little time to unfasten them underwater than be knocked out and wake up dead underwater .
Thanks for your insight, I was nervous to try a hooker, but the fit and feel is nice.
Thanks for your comments. I was on the fence about a harness vs just a lap belt. My thoughts are that the harness helps keep you in a position to use the controls during an "event" to try to avoid an impact. I am not sure how much of a difference anchor points or harness vs lap belt would make in a hard impact. During a turnover I can see the plus and minus argument for harness vs lap belt.
I did make sure the shoulder belt anchor point was slightly higher than my shoulders, so it doesn't pull down on the shoulders.
In my opinion.....any flying machine without a shoulder harness is foolish.
Most "incidents" where a shoulder harness would definitely be useful will happen on the ground.....taxiing......landing.......take off......etc.
I'd rather be strapped in tight.......than letting my head slap into the ground!! And as Scooter mentioned.....it keeps your body in place during adverse conditions which can help you control the craft instead of flopping all over the place.